Appraisal, Appraiser Fraud Down Significantly

Recent reports have shown that cases of appraisal fraud have dropped dramatically, but mortgage fraud is on the rise.

The quarterly report from the U.S. Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network released in January showed good news for the valuation profession. It statedFraud_house that incidents of appraisal fraud plunged from 2013 to 2014, dropping from 7,641 cases in 2013 to 2,033 in 2014 [See Depository Institutions, Exhibit 5]. This was the sharpest percentage decrease of any other type of fraud tracked by FinCen. [Read more…]

How Appraisers Can Help Consumers Buy a Manufactured Home

Manufactured housing is one of the fastest-growing housing markets in the U.S., and, according to the Manufactured Housing Institute, more than one in 10 single-family housing starts was a manufactured home in 2013.

Interested homebuyers should enlist the help of a qualified real estate appraiser to consider the advantages of purchasing a manufactured home over a traditional build and determine if taking the prefab route is worth the investment in the long run.

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Depending on the region of the country, construction cost-per-square-foot for a new manufactured home averages 25 to 30 percent less than costs for a comparable site-built home. (As appraisers know well, cost does not necessarily equal value.)

But what about appreciation? Just like a traditional build, there’s no guarantee that the value of a manufactured home will always appreciate — that’s dependent on outside economic factors and varies by region. However, independent appraisal studies confirm that simplybuying a manufactured home won’t hurt resale value or reduce resale prospects compared to a site-built home. [Read more…]

Early Registration Closes May 18 for AI 2013 Annual Meeting

Appraisal Institute Vice President M. Lance Coyle, MAI, SRA, reveals details about this year’s Annual Meeting that will be held July 23 – 25 at the Hyatt Regency in Indianapolis in the organization’s latest video.ai_2013_annmtg_shaking_hands

At this year’s Annual Meeting, attendees will have the chance to experience more than 30 first-class education programs, including the chance to earn up to 16 hours of Appraisal Institute continuing education credit and state credit.


Attendees will also find plenty of opportunities for networking with their peers, exhibits of cutting-edge valuation products and services, an exciting awards program honoring some of the most accomplished individuals in the valuation profession and a wide variety of fun activities throughout the Indianapolis area. [Read more…]

Divorce Appraisals in Today’s Market: Who Wants the House?

When a home is going to be sold or a mortgage refinanced as the result of a divorce, appraisers play a key role by generating credible, reliable opinions of value. Stephen Matonis, MAI; Sara Schwarzentraub, SRA; and Michael Vargas, Candidate for Designation, shared their perspective in this article in The Wall Street Journal.

[Read more…]

How Homeowners Can Prepare for an Appraisal

Whether a homeowner is seeking to refinance or is planning to sell, an important step in the process is a real estate appraisal. An appraisal typically is conducted to assist a mortgage lender make a wise lending decision. This is different from an inspection, which is a thorough evaluation of a house’s major systems and structural integrity.

blog_image_2_14_12-2Although factors such as geographic location and sale prices of neighboring homes may be out of their control, there are steps homeowners can take to help ensure a reliable, credible opinion of value.

  • Make sure every room in the house is clean and free of clutter so the appraiser can clearly see and document every asset.

[Read more…]